Stairs and Banister Stripping & Restoration
09 Jun, '16
When people think about sanding and refinishing, they usually consider it mostly for their wooden floors. While a well-kept and attractive looking floor can make a great impression, every little detail matters. Even the stairs. In fact, some stairs see more traffic than many floors since the movement is constant. You simply cannot transition from one storey to another without using them. As a result, those stairs begin to wear down very quickly and eventually need some attention. If we want the best for our home, we simply cannot make exceptions. If we are to do something, let’s do it properly?
Some people consider this a DYI project which can be easily done with a simple palm sander. It isn’t so. Stairs can get very worn over the years and require professional help with the proper tools and experience behind it.
Usually, when we sand a floor, we always remove the furniture in the room, not only to make it easy on ourselves but also to protect it from dust, dirt and any form of collateral damage. The situation isn’t that different when it comes to stairs but since the furniture isn’t directly on top of the surface that is about to be sanded, it is ok to simply cover it with clothes during the process.
Before we attempt to sand, we always make sure that there isn’t protruding nails which can damage our equipment. Of course, if we find any, we make sure to remove or punch them in.
Staircases require more delicate touch and precision compared to your regular wooden floor. We use an edge sander with coarser grit depending on the condition of the stairs to make sure that there is no old finish left. Any areas the edger could not properly strip, are left for hand scraping and hand sanding, later on.
Next logical step is to vacuum all the dust and debris to prepare the wood for the gap filling. Gap filling will eliminate any empty spaces between the planks. After this, we sand again with a finer grit to smooth the surface even more and remove any excess filler. This finally allows our specialists to hand scrape any leftovers from the old finish, clean and sand again in order to start staining.
Even after the stain is applied, a true professional must make sure that the stairs are perfectly clean before proceeding with the finish. The whole process, depending on the drying times, should take around a day and a half.
Stair Railing and Banister Refinishing
Our standard restoration service includes stripping steps and risers only. However, we can provide special prices for handrails and bannisters. The reason for this is that bannisters can be tricky to work on, due to the many decorative elements on them which make the process longer and therefore costly.
The process isn’t very complicated but requires care and attention to detail. A small electric sander can take care of the bigger areas while all the small, decorative parts and grooves have to be sanded by hand. The general idea remains the same – we sand, clean, use a finer sanding grit and clean again until the old finish is completely gone and ready for the application of a stain. As far as finishes go, we recommend using oils and hard wax oils. They are not as durable as lacquers but provide a more natural look and are easy to maintain and possibly remove. Painted sideboards and bannisters are better left that way because paint and filler in chips and cracks are quite difficult to remove.